image credit: Michael Hull via unsplash

The Haudenosaunee identify with their Creator through their orientation to the Earth.  All ceremonial cycles each year express their gratitude for the Earth’s bountiful gifts. It is difficult to maintain this responsibility in a world that moves further away from the Original Instructions. One important example of the Original Instructions is that every decision should consider those seven generations who came before, and the impact those decisions will have on the future seven generations.

The Wolf and Black Bear, two of the animals relating to family clans, have become extinct or endangered in the homelands of the Haudenosaunee. The habitat for the other clans – deer, beaver, turtle, eel, hawk, snipe, and heron – are diminishing as more and more developments transform the living landscape into real estate. The Elders would say, as the animals go, so too will humans.

About 20 years ago, the Haudenosaunee took a hard look around and inventoried the harmful effects of industrial and residential waste was having in their communities as well as their neighbors. At the prompting of officials at the United Nations, the Haudenosaunee Environmental Task Force (HETF) was born to restore positive relationships to nature, and clean up our homelands from over a century of ecological abuse.

In the end, Skä·noñh is not possible without healthy minds, healthy spirits and healthy bodies. Our Peace and Wellness depends on the health of Mother Earth. Restoring Skä·noñh in our personal lives, in our relationships, and with nature is absolutely essential from a Haudenosaunee point of view. Think about how you can improve your relationships and become an advocate for peace and a healthier environment.